TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Cochlear implantation is beneficial for children with deafness and developmental delays, according to a study published online May 24 in Pediatrics.

John S. Oghalai, M.D., from the University of South California in Los Angeles, and colleagues prospectively identified young children with deafness from Texas and California, followed longitudinally for an average of two years. Children were included from three cohorts: 138 in cohort 1 who had normal cognition and adaptive behavior and underwent cochlear implantation; 37 in cohort 2 who had low cognition and low adaptive behavior and underwent cochlear implantation; and 29 in cohort 3 who had low cognition and low adaptive behavior and were treated with hearing aids.

The researchers found that the children in cohort 1 showed more rapid gains in cognitive skills, adaptive function, language, and auditory skills compared with cohort 2, whereas slower gains were seen for children in cohort 3 versus cohort 2. Greater increases in stress were seen within the parent-child system for children in cohort 3, while there was no difference for cohorts 1 and 2.

“These data support the value of cochlear implantation in children with multiple disabilities/developmental delays and argue against insurance plans requiring that certain developmental milestones be met prior to authorization,” the authors write.

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